Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Male Impotence Drugs Show Promise For Treating Female Sexual Disorders, Study Suggests

Date:
April 18, 2009
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
New studies indicate the three drugs used to treat male impotence also appear to work in females, albeit a little differently, and should give the scientific community pause to take a second look at their potential in the 40 percent of women who report sexual dysfunction, researchers say.

New studies indicate the three drugs used to treat male impotence also appear to work in females, albeit a little differently, and should give the scientific community pause to take a second look at their potential in the 40 percent of women who report sexual dysfunction, researchers say.

In one of the first studies of the effect of phosphodiesterase Type 5 inhibitors - Viagra®, Levitra® and Cialis® - on the pudendal arteries that supply the penis, vagina and clitoris the blood needed to produce a satisfying sexual experience, Medical College of Georgia researchers showed the drugs relax the artery in male and female rats.

"It shows the drugs need to be investigated more for women and small alterations could make these compounds more effective for women living with these disorders," says Dr. Kyan J. Allahdadi, postdoctoral fellow in physiology at MCG. He's presenting the findings during the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society held in New Orleans April 18-22 as part of the Experimental Biology 2009 scientific conference.

Although there was talk years ago of a pink pill for women to parallel the blue Viagra for men, early clinical trials found essentially no response in women.

MCG researchers decided to look again, first giving a drug to constrict the internal pudendal arteries in male and female rats – as they would be in a non-erect state – then giving doses of each impotency drug to see the impact. The arteries from male rats displayed a relatively standard concentration-dependent relaxation – the more drug they got, the more they relaxed - while in females arteries, there was an initial relaxation then an odd oscillation between relaxation and contraction with subsequent dosing.

While they don't fully understand the swing, the unique female response likely provides more evidence that sexual function is more complex in females, says Dr. R. Clinton Webb, chair of the MCG Department of Physiology and a study author. Scientists define female sexual dysfunction as a multifaceted disorder that includes anatomical, psychological, physiological and social-interpersonal aspects.

MCG researchers have shown part of that complexity may be the smooth muscle cells in the internal pudendal arteries of females communicate, agreeing to contract and relax, while male smooth muscle cells make independent decisions to just relax.

They found one other distinction: females were more sensitive to Viagra®, or sildenafil, while males were most sensitive to Levitra®, or vardenafil.

Previous studies on the effectiveness of these drugs focused on the cavernosal tissue, or penis. The internal pudendal artery actually feeds the penile artery which is buried deep in the penis where numerous caverns enable it to be flaccid when not engorged with blood. Physical stimulation of the area causes the tissue, endothelial cells and nerves to release nitric oxide, a powerful dilator of blood vessels. The system works pretty much the same way in the vagina and clitoris.

"If you have too much constriction or not enough relaxation to allow blood to go through the internal pudendal artery, you are not going to get the net effect of an erection," Dr. Allahdadi says. "That is why we wanted to begin to characterize what was going on in this blood vessel."

Perhaps as importantly, the MCG scientists and others are beginning to believe sexual dysfunction provides an early, or at least visible, clue of vascular disease. Vascular problems, that can result from diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and the like, are a major cause of sexual dysfunction in men and women. "You don't feel atherosclerosis but you know darn well if you are not getting an erection," Dr. Webb says. In fact, the MCG scientists are beginning to look at animal models of disease states, such as diabetes, to see what it does to these internal pudendal arteries.

"What we have seen preliminarily is there is big difference in responsiveness in these arteries. The diabetic pudendal arteries are much more sensitive to contraction," Dr. Allahdadi says. They will look at how drugs like Viagra impact that contraction in the days ahead.

In fact MCG scientists suspect one reason that many of the women participants in previous studies of Viagra did not seem to respond is because they did not have vascular problems that could have been circumvented by a drug that relaxes arteries so blood can enter. In men with a healthy vasculature, the drugs likely would still produce a longer erection.

Dr. Rita C. Tostes, associate professor in the MCG Department of Physiology, is a co-author who contributed to the design and analysis of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Male Impotence Drugs Show Promise For Treating Female Sexual Disorders, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417084010.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2009, April 18). Male Impotence Drugs Show Promise For Treating Female Sexual Disorders, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417084010.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Male Impotence Drugs Show Promise For Treating Female Sexual Disorders, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417084010.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) — West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) — Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins